Axe Brand says ST front page ad placement was an 'unfortunate coincidence'

The brand clarified that it was unintentional.

Karen Lui | July 20, 2021, 08:26 PM

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[UPDATED on Wednesday, July 21 at 10:55am: Adding ST's comments that were published on July 21.]

On July 19, a River Valley High School student passed away after he was found motionless with multiple wounds.

Following the incident, the Straits Times (ST) published an article about the case on the front-page on both the print and pdf version of their July 20 issue.

The article, "Sec 1 student allegedly killed by Sec 4 student in school", reported on details of the incident, including the detail that an axe was seized as case exhibit at the scene.

However, readers have noticed the placement of an Axe Brand advertisement beneath the article on the same page. It was separated by an article about the spike in Covid-19 cases.

Screenshot via Straits Times.

Outraged by editorial "insensitivity"

Screenshots of the front page was circulated online, with some taking to Facebook to speak up on it, calling it "unfortunate" and "insensitive".

"Unfortunate coincidence"

At 3:33pm, Axe Brand released a statement on Facebook, clarifying that it was not intentional on their part but "a very unfortunate coincidence".

They explained that they had arranged and booked the advertisement with ST in December 2020.

"Our company is in deep sympathy and grief with the victim’s family," they added.

In response to Mothership's queries on July 20, ST said they have no further comment.

On Wednesday (July 21), ST apologised for the incident and said that the "juxtapostion was inadvertent and unfortunate". Their comments were published on page A2 of the print and pdf version of the July 21 issue.

Screenshot via ST.

Top images via ST.